v23 #5 And They Were There Reports of Meetings

by | Dec 5, 2011 | 0 comments

SALALM 56 and the 30th Annual Charleston Conference

Column Editor: Sever Bordeianu (Head, Print Resources Section, University Libraries, MSC05 3020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001; Phone: 505-277-2645; Fax: 505-277-9813) <[email protected]nm.edu>

SALALM 56 —Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials — May 28-June 1, 2011, Philadelphia, 2011.

Reported by Claire-Lise Bénaud (University of New Mexico)

This year’s SALALM annual meeting, its 56th, was titled Preserving Memory: Documenting and Archiving Latin American Human Rights. Even though SALALM stands for the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials, its scope has evolved way beyond the acquisition of books to become the premier forum for exchanging ideas on all issues relating to Latin America. Nonetheless, Latin American and Spanish book vendors, or libreros, are part of the core membership of this group. This year, the conference was co-hosted by Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania libraries in Philadelphia, between May 28th and June 1st, 2011.

Peter Kornbluh, a consummate activist archivist, gave the keynote address. He believes that archives can reshape the present. He remarked that archives are by nature passive and that is a model that he fiercely opposes. As a senior analyst at the National Security Archive, an independent non-governmental research institute at the George Washington University Library, he is actively working on getting Latin American documents declassified, getting access to uncensored documents and working on expediting their declassification, especially in the area of human rights.

The theme of the conference was the documentation of memory as social history and constructing digital memory, especially in the area of human rights. Unlike conferences past, many panels included documentary films, which were then discussed with the directors and the audience. All directors stressed that documentary films are vital for preserving memories and are very effective in teaching. Film directors first discussed their project showing film clips and trailers and the films were shown in their entirety later on during the conference. Director Christopher Moore, of Sol Productions, presented his film Moving Pictures o Los Autos de Caracas as source material and teaching tool. In this soul-searching film, the automobile is presented as self identity and represents Venezuela against the background of oil production: who are we as a nation? He sees his film as complementary to the written work. His goal was to tell a good story and for the audience to have more questions at the end of the film. He hopes that viewers will move forward and conduct more research. Alexandra Halkin of the Chiapas Media Project, uses a different approach. The Chiapas Media Project provides video equipment and training to the Zapatista indigenous communities in southern Mexico. The people themselves document their own reality. The director reported that the ‘war on drugs” in Mexico has been making filming more difficult. One of the biggest issues is the lack of professional archiving: a lot of footage has been lost, the climatic conditions are poor and preservation is an ongoing issue. She also reported that selling videos to universities is not easy and that librarians play a crucial role in disseminating this information. The New York-based organization, Cinema Tropical, was launched in 2001 to promote Latin American cinema. It holds screening in several U.S. cities and partnered with NYU to showcase its film series. Cinema Tropical’s co-founder and Executive Director, Carlos Gutiérrez, discussed the issues facing his organization: access to Latin American films, even locally, is problematic; distribution and exhibition of foreign films is difficult, and getting reviews is crucial (“with no reviews, the film does not exist”). Shamina de Gonzaga discussed “Indocumentales/Undocumentaries” which is a series of film screenings and dialogues focusing on the U.S./Mexico immigration experience, a topic at the center of intense debate in the U.S. The documentary Al otro lado (Natalia Almada) was unlike what I expected, because the migrants are not portrayed as victims. Rather than just showing issues dealing with immigration and the drug war, it depicted how regular people deal with poverty and lack of opportunity in their village: their relationship with family members and friends, the decision to immigrate or not, how they relate to nationality from the Mexican perspective (“I did not cross the border, the border crossed me”), what happened if you got caught and were sent back to Mexico, how money changed hands, how drug money and immigration intersect, how a young man faces two choices: drug smuggling or crossing the border, and how he composes narcocorridos, ballads that glorify drug trafficking in the tradition of the folk corrido tradition from Northern Mexico. The presenter emphasized that this documentary was not a social commentary: it was not presented as gospel but a springboard for dialogue.

Other panels dealing with human rights were thought-provoking: Jared Marchildon, working for Libros Latinos, discussed the visual work of the Mexican collective ASARO and its political activism in Juarez; Gustavo Castaner, from the International Monetary Fund, whose panel was entitled Breaking Down the Walls of Silence: the Archives in the Battle for Retrieving Spain’s Historical Memory, was particularly interesting. Castaner debunked the idea that the Spanish transition to democracy in 1978 is seen as a model to be used by other nations. Following Franco’s military uprising against the Second Republic government in July 1936 the regime oversaw a systematic campaign to eliminate left-wing opponents. Other Spaniards were murdered or disappeared in later years. The Franco regime kept extensive archives which document mass killings. Archives are scattered throughout the country and this is a complicated task. As we speak, corpses in mass graves are still not identified and much work needs to be done. Since the year 2000, Spain has attempted to exhume mass graves and to recover memories. The speaker wished for Spain to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Irene Munster, from the University of Maryland and Mark Grover, from Brigham Young University, gave personal accounts. Munster related her own experience as a Jewish student in Argentina under Juan Perón. She told the audience about fear and intimidation and how she is particularly interested in Jewish “disappearances” during the Junta. Grover was given the diary of famed vertebrate paleontologist, geologist, Professor, and Mormon Bishop William Sill, who lived in Argentina from 1971 to 1978, and which relates first-hand what went on during the dictatorship including torture, gang rape, killings, etc. First-hand accounts drive home the reality of human rights violations more than any statistics or scholarly analyses. These last talks highlighted the value and importance of activist archivism.

Next year’s conference will take place in Trinidad and Tobago in the southern Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. At the time of this writing, neither the date nor theme of the conference have been announced. In the mean time, brush up on your calypso, soca, and limber up for limbo just in case your schedule and interests will make it possible for you to attend SALALM 57.


Charleston Conference: Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “Anything Goes!”
Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic District, Holiday Inn Historic District, and Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, November 3-6, 2010

Reports compiled by: Ramune K. Kubilius (Collection Development / Special Projects Librarian, Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library) <[email protected]>

Column Editor’s Note: Thank you to all of the 2010 Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports that highlighted sessions they attended. All attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, and notes are included in the reports to reflect changes in the session titles or presenters that were not printed in the conference’s final program. Slides and handouts from many 2010 Charleston Conference presentations can be found online at http://www.slideshare.net/event/2010-charleston-conference, and the Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published sometime in Fall 2011.

In this issue of Against the Grain you will find the fifth installment of 2010 conference reports. The first installment can be found in ATG v.23#1, February 2011, the second in ATG v.23#2, April 2011, the third in ATG v.23#3, June 2011, and the fourth in ATG v.23#4, September 2011. We will continue to publish all of the reports received in upcoming print issues throughout the year. — RKK

(continued from previous installment)


Creating a Mega Technical Services Department from Smaller Departments — Presented by Karleen Darr, Moderator (University of California, Davis); Barbara Schader (University of California, Riverside); Catherine Nelson (University of California, Santa Barbara); Germaine Wadeborn (UCLA)

Reported by: Andree Rathemacher (University of Rhode Island, University Libraries) <[email protected]>

Darr noted that in the context of the recession, the ten campuses of the University of California have been working to eliminate redundancies in workflow within and between campuses. Darr shared some general guidelines for organizational change, including engaging staff and performing workflow analyses.

Nelson explained that before Fall 2009, Technical Services at UC Santa Barbara Library consisted of three departments: Acquisitions, Cataloging, and Serials. When the Head of Acquisitions retired and her position could not be filled, serials and acquisitions were merged. Technical services will probably be re-organized again when a new University Librarian is hired.

Schader discussed how UC Riverside combined three departments into one mega Technical Services department. Staffing had decreased by 34% in four years, with a permanent loss of 12.75 positions. The loss occurred at the same time they were taking on new responsibilities and initiatives and faced a cataloging backlog. Task forces were formed to get staff input on the reorganization and lead to a new Technical Services & Metadata Department.

Wadeborn detailed how UCLA Library’s acquisitions functions have been reorganized multiple times since 1998. As a result, the main acquisitions unit now acquires materials for all UCLA libraries except for the Music Library and the East Asian Library. Acquisitions, cataloging, and mail room operations were moved out of the Research Library to a facility on the edge of campus.


Eliminating Content and Platform Silos: Case Studies and Discussion — Presented by Marc Segers (iFactory);

Martha Sedgwick (Sage Publications); Will Wheeler (Georgetown University’s Lauinger Library); Robert Faber (Oxford University Press)

Reported by: Desmond Maley (J.N. Desmarais Library, Laurentian University) <[email protected]>

Wheeler, who could not attend in person, made his PowerPoint presentation by computer linkup. However, the audio connection was poor, and he had a tendency to speak quickly. As a result, it was hard to follow his presentation on the problems of content searching in an environment of multiple platforms and variable access rights. Segers has worked for the past number of years in digital publishing development. He described iFactory’s new product, PubFactory, which allows users to search across multiple projects and silos and has a number of attractive features. Sedgwick reviewed Sage’s new platform, Sage Research Methods Online. Features include “levels” of content (i.e., level of subject expertise), “playlists” of preferred materials, and the Little Green Books on specialized topics. Faber said 2010 could be called “the year of the platform” in terms of the products unveiled by publishers geared towards the STM sector. He addressed a number of issues primarily from a user perspective (for example, journal titles no longer mean anything to students).


From Reports to Cooperative Intelligence — Presented by Kathryn Harnish (OCLC); Annette Day (North Carolina State University)

Reported by: Laurel Ivy Sammonds (Mississippi State University Libraries) <[email protected]>

Day, Head of Collection Development at NCSU Libraries, and Harnish of OCLC discussed the use of data-collection tools to make contextualized collection-development decisions. Because of budget pressures, libraries must do more with less, demonstrate our worth to stakeholders, and evaluate the impact of large-scale digitization projects like Google Books and Hathi Trust. “Cooperative intelligence” refers to tapping into the collective knowledge of other libraries to help assess diverse holdings. Day and Harnish reviewed the functionality of OCLC’s WorldCat Collection Analysis (WCCA) and demonstrated the Peer Comparison tool — which can be used to compare holdings with other libraries. WCCA can show consortial uniqueness/overlap of titles and strengths and weaknesses of the local collection. Harnish stated that WCCA will soon be subsumed by a more robust, “next-generation” analytical environment. WCCA data and results will be embedded into the workflow environment for each user and could be integrated with other information sources via OCLC’s Platform Services. Weaknesses of WCCA were acknowledged — its poor chart-making ability and over-reporting of uniqueness due to dual records and edition discrepancies despite implementation of FRBR. This session was informative for anyone interested in increasing the impact of their own collection development data analyses.


Next-Generation Science Journals: Challenges and Opportunities — Presented by Moshe Pritsker (JoVE); Janet D. Carter (UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library)

Reported by: Ramune K. Kubilius (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library) <[email protected]>

Many session attendees were at least somewhat familiar with this “new age” science journal that features protocols on video, filmed by authors (with colleagues) or an international network of JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments, www.jove.com) approved videographers. The demonstration computer presented some challenges, but undaunted, Pritsker, a co-founder of the journal, discussed JoVE’s benefits for authors (numerous submissions necessitated other subject spin-off titles), users (graduate students appreciate visual demonstration of research experiment techniques), and librarians (the relatively new journal is moving towards COUNTER statistics, and was fast-tracked for PubMed indexing). JoVE was the only “next generation” science journal example presented, perhaps because, for now, it has a niche in the scientific publishing marketplace. Librarian Carter remained neutral, talking in general about journal review factors that influence addition, renewal, and cancellation decisions in her institution. This includes needs of users, including those in an undergraduate research center, and faculty input, their editorial and other involvement with journals. She made no public promises about decisions regarding this specific journal, or its spin-offs. During the question period, Pritsker comfortably fielded questions about concerns to librarians (e.g., PubMed Central issues), the business models of other journals (e.g., charges for color figures), and his own journal’s measures of success (the number of employees and exactly when the journal turned a profit).


New COUNTER-based Usage Metrics for Journals and Other Publications — Presented by Peter Shepherd (COUNTER); Richard Gedye (Oxford University Press); David Sommer (David Sommer Consulting)

Reported by: Brent Appling (SLIS Student University of South Carolina) <[email protected]>

The purpose of this session was for members of the COUNTER project to present new aspects of COUNTER that are currently being implemented, or soon to be implemented, that will help electronic resource librarians get a rich picture of how usage statistics can be used to show how electronic journals are used by library patrons. Shepherd, the incoming chair of COUNTER explained what the project is currently working on, including search click statistics, Journal Usage Factor, and PIRUS 2. Gedye, the outgoing chair of COUNTER, then went into further detail on the Journal Usage Factor (JUF), which is similar to Impact Factor, but shows that journals with higher JUF numbers have lower Impact Factor numbers, which is inversely true with journals that have high Impact Factor numbers. Sommer then concluded the session with a discussion of PIRUS 2 which is a common standard for measuring the online usage of individual articles. Each speaker then did an expert job at answering questions that pertained to the new initiatives that COUNTER currently has underway. This presentation was very successful in showing the potential of COUNTER usage statistics, as promised by the program description.


Issues in Determing Cost for Cost-Per-Use Calculations — Presented by Virginia Kay “Ginger” Williams (Wichita State University)

Reported by: Leslie Williams (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Health Sciences Library) <[email protected]>

Williams delivered a thought-provoking presentation and discussion of cost-per-use calculations. She proposed using cost-per-use calculations as a method for identifying journals needing further consideration.

Williams developed a variety of approaches to calculate cost-per-use. If a title comes free with a membership, use the membership fee for the calculations. If multiple titles come free with a membership, identify those titles that are retained and bound, then split the membership fee evenly between those two titles. With package deals, librarians might divide the cost evenly among all titles or try to obtain discounted prices for each title from a subscription agent. For package deals involving an access fee, librarians might use the individual prices provided for the subscribed titles and then split the access fee evenly among the non-subscribed titles.

Williams offered guidelines to employ in cost-per-use calculations. Assign the cost at the title level when possible. Pro-rate package costs among titles in proportion to the cost of purchasing the titles individually. If individual prices are not available, split the package cost equally among the titles retained permanently. Use the amount actually paid, not the list price. Most importantly, Williams recommended identifying the guidelines that make the most sense for what you are trying to accomplish and then implementing those guidelines consistently.


Teaching and Learning Unleashed: Using Technology Innovations and Open-Access Content to Connect E-Resources and the Classroom — Presented by Jackie LaPlaca (Credo Reference); Lia Hemphill (Nova Southeastern University); Jim Dooley (UC Merced); Jeff Carroll (Columbia University Libraries)

Reported by: Ruth Castillo (SLIS Student, University of South Carolina) <[email protected]>

This session was overarched by the question: “Can eResources help solve student and faculty pain points?” Dooley shared a number of problems currently presenting themselves at UC Merced including barriers to increased use of eResources such as link decay and students wanting instantaneous access without instruction. Hemphill discussed how at Nova Southeastern, eResources have been effectively promoted using campus media and the library liaison program. She also stated that she believed, when it comes to open-access textbooks and other eResources, that faculty are overwhelmed, and it is the library’s responsibility to provide information about opportunities and technologies. Carroll shared some of the initiatives to integrate library resources, university technology services, and instruction at Columbia University. LaPlaca presented a different viewpoint on open access and libraries by identifying what library vendors can do to help libraries provide better access to eResources. In all, the session seemed to underline a question posed by Dooley: “If faculty don’t need the library, will they still come to the library?”


Patron-Driven Acquisitions: The Future of Collection Development? — Presented by Rebecca Schroeder (Brigham Young University); Tom Wright (Brigham Young University); Robert Murdoch (Brigham Young University)

Reported by: Rita M. Cauce (Florida International University Libraries) <[email protected]>

Brigham Young University recently conducted a pilot PDA program with YBP and ebrary. Schroeder described how the program was set-up: they wanted it to be seamless so patrons were not aware of making a book purchase; the price threshold was $250, but later adjusted to $150; only included subject areas from their academic programs; and date limited to 2000 and forward. The 18,000 profiled records were loaded into a separate library in their ILS system and moved to the regular library once purchased. They found most of the books purchased were Social Sciences, with a good representation of Sciences and Humanities.

Wright presented the implications of PDA for collection development and its impact on issues such as the new role of subject librarians, decisions on acquiring vs. accessing, accreditation concerns, and budget allocations with patrons deciding on purchases. Murdoch made recommendations, such as smart price negotiations, and possible ways to move forward. Brigham Young is considering print PDA, and extending their YBP approval to include eBooks. He stated that through technology we now have the opportunity to expose our patrons to what is out there, and then let them decide.


Journal Cancellation 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Slashing Serials with Confidence — Presented by Tricia Clayton (Georgia State University); Skye Hardesty (Georgia State University)

Reported by: Russell Grooms (MLIS student at the University of South Carolina) <[email protected]>

Presenters Clayton and Hardesty delivered exactly what they promoted in the conference program — an introductory look at serials cancellations. With most libraries facing flat budgets and the rising cost of serials, journal cancellation has become a necessity across the nation. At Georgia State University, $500,000 (25%) of the serials budget had to be cut over a two-year period. The presenters reviewed their activities throughout this process and offered practical advice. Journal cancellation begins with planning — knowing how much to cut, who is to be involved, what is the deadline, and what are the criteria for cancellation. The presenters spent the second half of the session discussing ways to “go public” with the list of proposed cancellations. They created an online comment form with a list of titles to be cancelled and allowed faculty and students to comment on the proposed cuts. Sifting through over 1,000 comments (some helpful, others not), they were able to make final decisions and reach their cancellation goals. The session was extremely helpful to any librarian new or old who is faced with this challenge, and their communication with faculty and students throughout the process is something to be emulated by all librarians.


That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue. Watch for more reports from the 2010 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain. Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2010 sessions are available online. Visit the Conference Website at www.katina.info/conference. — KS



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